I thought it would be interesting to see how the subject test distribution has moved over time. The test was rescaled in October 2001 (according to this
), so there's almost fifteen years of data. I've compiled what I've found here:
The data comes from ETS's Guide to the Use of GRE Scores
, released each year. I haven't been able to find the percentile tables for a few years, but there is a definite trend: more people are scoring higher. In some cases the percentile rank for a certain scaled score has dropped up to 10 or 11 points since 2001-2004. (Scores now in the mid-80s used to be in the mid-90s.) The mean has also increased quite significantly, and the number of tests has almost doubled. I'm sure that is because a lot more people are taking the test today than took it fifteen years ago, but I also wonder whether some of the increase in the number of tests is due to an increase in the number of people who are taking the test more than once.
Curious to hear what people think about this trend -- what might explain it, and what significance it could have for graduate admissions.